Planning group appoints subcommittee to explore proposed solar projects
Napoleon Zervas of Valley Center View Properties addresses the VCCPG regarding a vacation of property issue during the group's regular monthly meeting held Monday, Oct. 21. Photo by Kim Harris
October 25, 2013The Valley Center Community Planning Group formed a subcommittee to explore two proposed solar farms in Valley Center. A total of nine people were appointed to the Solar Project Subcommittee.
Board Chairman Oliver Smith will act as the chairman of the group that includes Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG) members Rich Rudolf, Eric LaVenture, Larry Glavinic and Steve Hutchison along with public members Susan Barber, Glen Barber, Cathy Cowan and Gina Leon.
Smith reported to a nearly packed house that he had received a phone call from SDG&E talking about a solar farm they were looking at placing in Valley Center on land they owned at Valley Center Road and Vesper. The farm would be one of four in San Diego County and about 7 acres in size, Smith said.
SDG&E had planned to do a presentation to the board at the meeting, held Monday night in the basement of the community center, but notified Smith they needed to postpone the presentation until the board's November meeting.
"What I was told is that they would formally apply in November," he said, noting that information on a second solar farm was emailed to him a week ago from the county. "This one would be located on Cole Grade and Wilhite, it's about 79 acres and the county basically forgot to send us (information)."
Smith said when he heard about the second site he knew that the projects were basically the same and that there was a good opportunity to form a subcommittee to look at both projects.
"We want to make sure we get the information we need," he said. "What that means is we have roughly a month to do our homework, to see what's happening and to see what's in the best interest of Valley Center."
The board declined to discuss the project further until the subcommittee has a chance to perform its research and present findings to the board.
In other news, the board approved a request on vacation of a portion of Valley Center Road near Miller Road after current improvements on the roadway eliminated the need for the additional right of way.
Valley Center View Properties, who owns the land at the northeast corner of the intersection, plans to put a gas station and possibly a car wash and minimart there starting within 30 days. According to Smith, the project was approved several years ago but stalled due to the economic conditions.
The county had offered to return the parcel of land to the developers after Valley Center Road was permanently classified as a four-lane road.